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Senate Threatens NASA with Documents Subpoena

The Senate Commerce Committee is threatening to subpoena NASA for documents explaining what the agency is doing to produce a new human space flight system unless NASA produces the documents voluntarily within a matter of hours. Andrew Schneider reports.


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The twenty-ten NASA Authorization Act requires the space agency to use its investments in the Shuttle program and the canceled Constellation program to develop a new launch system and crew vehicle. The aim is to have a new manned-space-flight system ready for use as early as twenty-sixteen.

NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs.

“We’re continuing to work with both houses of Congress as we move forward in implementing the authorization act’s requirements.”

Bob Mitchell, president of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, sees things differently.

“If it weren’t for NASA headquarters, we would not be going through the number of layoffs that we’re experiencing today. NASA headquarters has continued to try to delay human space exploration and done everything they can to put walls or barriers in the way to make sure that the programs aren’t funded at the level that Congress told them to fund them at.”

Senators Jay Rockefeller and Kay Bailey Hutchison seem to agree with Mitchell. Over the past month, the Commerce Committee chair and ranking Republican have repeatedly asked NASA for briefings and documents explaining what the agency is doing to comply with the law. Now they’ve run out of patience. They say Rockefeller will subpoena the agency for the documents unless NASA produces them by 5 p.m. Central time today.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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